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13 Dec

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Pfizer Inc. announced Tuesday that it has launched a trial that will compare its existing COVID-19 vaccine against a new version tailored to beat back the highly contagious Omicron variant.

"While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepar...

It has begun to feel like a pandemic that will never end, but public health experts now say the Omicron variant may be ushering in a "new normal," where COVID-19 becomes an endemic, but manageable, disease.

"I do feel that we are moving into a transition phase in the pandemic, and I do th...

Coronavirus infections before or after vaccination provide equal levels of increased immunity, and the key to this so-called "super immunity" is to be vaccinated, researchers report.

"It makes no difference whether you get infected-and-then-vaccinated, or if you get vaccinated-and-then-a-breakthrough infection," said study co-senior author Fikadu Tafesse. He is an assistant professor of ...

One less excuse to avoid that COVID vaccine: The shots don't affect fertility in either men or women, new research shows, but coronavirus infection could cause short-term fertility problems in men.

"Many reproductive-aged individuals have cited concerns about fertility as a reason for remaining unvaccinated," said lead study author Amelia Wesselink. She is research assistant professor of ...

The risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 among older Americans is far higher for those who are unvaccinated than for those who are fully vaccinated and have had a booster shot, new government data shows.

The differences were stark: In December, unvaccinated people 50 and older were 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who had completed the initial immunization...

Herd immunity against COVID-19 is unlikely, and coping with the disease will likely hinge on vaccination, treatment and ensuring adequate hospital capacity, a new study conducted in Los Angeles County claims.

With herd immunity, most people have antibodies from vaccination or prior infection, so a virus has...

Some arthritis drugs may reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines, according to the Arthritis Foundation, which also offers advice on booster shots.

Research is limited, but evidence suggests that disease-modifying

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 21, 2022
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  • If you need more proof that a third shot of COVID vaccine is needed, new British research confirms that boosters can "neutralize" the virus' Omicron variant.

    To arrive at that conclusion, they analyzed 620 blood samples from 364 health care workers and staff at the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, in London.

    Peo...

    Think your prior bout of COVID shields you enough from another encounter with the coronavirus? New research suggests that adding in vaccination is still your best bet.

    A combination of vaccination and prior infection offers the most optimal protection against infection with COVID-19, a new government study shows.

    Researchers analyzed data on infections in New York and California in ...

    If COVID-19 vaccines and medicines are shared equally worldwide, the pandemic could ease this year, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday.

    However, if wealthier countries don't share their resources with poorer countries, there will continue to be high rates of deaths and hospitalizations, warned Dr. Michael Ryan, head of emergencies at WHO.

    “What we need to do is ...

    Even if you don't have side effects from your COVID-19 vaccine, it's likely still working to protect you, a reassuring new report shows.

    Many people who receive the mRNA COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna experience body aches and fatigue that indicate the vaccine is triggering ...

    It's too soon to determine whether Omicron's rapid spread will turn a pandemic virus into an endemic disease, America's top infectious disease expert says.

    That "would only be the case if we don't get another variant that eludes the immune response to the prior variant," Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week during the Davos Agenda, a virtual event being held this week by the World Economic Fo...

    Unvaccinated pregnant women are putting themselves and their baby at risk for serious complications of COVID-19, according to new research out of Scotland.

    For women who have the virus within 28 days of their delivery date, those complications include preterm births, stillbirths and newborn deaths. Infant deaths are four times higher among unvaccinated women,

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 14, 2022
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  • Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 may slightly and temporarily extend the time between a woman's menstrual periods, a new study reports.

    On average, researchers found that the extra time amounts to slightly less than one day. It's something many women...

    The best time during pregnancy to get a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be right now.

    A new study found that antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nearly 1,400 women and their babies at the time of delivery didn’t vary dramatically based on when a woman go...

    New U.S. data based on nearly 9 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine delivered to kids ages 5 to 11 shows no major safety issues, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The vaccine was first authorized for use in th...

    MONDAY, Dec 27, 2021 (HealthDay News)-- When fully vaccinated cancer patients develop a breakthrough case of COVID-19, most will become seriously ill and end up hospitalized, a new study finds.

    The conclusion stems from the experience of 54 cancer patients who developed COVID-19.

    Sixty-five percent were hospitalized following infection, while nearly 1 in 5 (19%) were placed on a mec...

    COVID-19 is again surging throughout the United States, with the Omicron variant already outpacing this summer’s Delta variant in the rate of daily cases.

    However, numbers of hospitalizations have not yet reached those surging numbers this holiday season, according to CNN. That may not last, experts warn, because tens of millions of Americans continue to be at higher risk of c...

    Starting Dec. 31, the United States will lift travel restrictions from eight countries in southern Africa.

    The restrictions were first announced in late November in response to concerns about Omicron, the new highly contagious variant of COVID-19. Omicron was spotted first in southern Afr...

    In some heartening news for the holidays, three new studies that combed through early data on the new Omicron variant suggest it does not cause severe disease as often as the Delta variant does.

    On the other hand, Omicron is so contagious that it will likely increase hospitalizations, and...

    Flu is making a comeback in the United States this year, with cases rising around the country even as the Omicron variant is surging, infectious disease experts say.

    "We already are seeing significant increases in the amount of influenza occurring across the United States, especially with regards to the eastern part of the U.S. and the central part of the country," said Dr. Tina Tan, an i...

    President Joe Biden laid out a comprehensive plan on Tuesday to help Americans navigate a tough winter facing the Omicron variant, but he also made an impassioned plea for every eligible person to get vaccines and boosters.

    "For the folks who aren't vaccinated, you may think you're putting only yourself at risk, but your choice is not just a choice about you," Biden said during a speech f...

    President Joe Biden plans to announce his latest battle plan for fighting the formidable Omicron variant on Tuesday, with measures to include distributing 500 million free rapid COVID tests to the public, opening new federal testing sites, sending out hundreds of federal vaccinators, and providing 1,000 military medical personnel to bolster beleaguered hospitals.

    The measures, many of whi...

    Moderna Inc. announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine booster shot significantly increased antibodies against the Omicron variant.

    “The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reass...

    MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2021 ( HealthDay News) -- As coronavirus cases start to surge once again across the United States, President Joe Biden will address the nation about the Omicron variant on Tuesday.

    "Building off his Winter Plan, the President will announce new steps the Administration is taking to help communities in need of assistance, while also issuing a stark warning of what the winte...

    Two doses of a pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine failed to spur an adequate immune response in children aged 2 to 5, the companies announced Friday.

    That's a setback for parents hoping to get their youngest children immunized against the new coronavirus as soon as possible.

    The pediatric trials used a 3 microgram (mcg) dose of the vaccine — equivalent to about one-te...

    Breakthrough infections in people who've been vaccinated against COVID-19 may trigger "super immunity" against coronavirus variants, including Omicron, according to a new study.

    "The key is to get vaccinated. You’ve got to have a foundation of protection," said co-author Dr. Marcel Curlin, an associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland.

    <...

    When it comes to fending off new viruses, baby has Mom and Dad beat.

    An infant's immune system is better than an adult's at combating new viruses, researchers say.

    Compared to adults, babies get a lot of viral respiratory infections, but babies are dealing with these viruses for the first time, study author Donna Farber pointed out.

    “Adults don’t get sick as often because ...

    COVID-19 vaccination provides far less protection to people with multiple myeloma than to survivors of other types of cancer, new research shows.

    The findings highlight the need for multiple myeloma patients “to be especially careful -- to take social distancing seriously and utilize masking -- even if they’ve been vaccinated,” said study senior author Dr. Nikhil Munshi, from the Je...

    Compared to previous coronavirus variants, Omicron appears to cause less severe illness, but is more resistant to the Pfizer vaccine, researchers at South Africa's largest health insurer report.

    The team at Discovery Health analyzed 211,000 positive coronavirus cases during the country's fourth wave, including 78,000 attributed to

  • Robert Preidt
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  • December 14, 2021
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  • Nearly half of 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, but the initial rush to get teens immunized has stalled, a new survey of parents shows.

    Only 1% of parents now plan to get their teen vaccinated as soon as possible; 13% said they'll wait and see how vaccination works for others; and 30% said they won't get their teen vaccinated.

    The...

    The world isn't ready to prevent or deal with another pandemic because many nations aren't taking the necessary steps to prepare for what is likely an inevitable future scenario, a new report shows.

    The Global Health Security (GHS) index -- an assessment of preparedness for various health emergencies and problems -- is produced by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Economist Impact and the Jo...

    Cancer patients are at risk for serious COVID-19 illness, but some are still afraid to get vaccinated against the virus, new research shows.

    Study authors surveyed nearly 200 high-risk cancer patients at the Mays Cancer Center in San Antonio, Texas. Only 56% said they'd received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, compared to the community vaccination rate of 76%.

    The three most com...

    Public health experts have long recommended getting a seasonal flu shot, but a new study suggests there's hesitancy about that vaccine, too. Physicians and pharmacists can play a key role in flu shot uptake, the research shows.

    Only about 44% of people who had a health care provider got their flu shots, the study found, but it was even worse among those who didn't have a doctor: Only one...

    Pfizer/BioNTech said Wednesday that while two doses of their coronavirus vaccine may not offer good protection against the Omicron variant, adding a booster shot does the trick.

    According to a statement from the companies, blood tests fro...

    Can the time of day you get your COVID-19 vaccine affect how many antibodies you’ll make?

    A new study suggests that it can.

    Researchers found higher antibody levels in health care workers who received their vaccines in the afternoon, and they suggest that response to the vaccine may be affected by circadian rhythms.

    "Our observational study provides proof of concept that ...

    Yet another study shows that a combination of vaccination and previous infection may provide better protection against new COVID-19 variants than either one alone.

    That's because the antibodies a person develops after either just vaccination or previous infection may not be able to fend off new variants.

    In the new study, investigators found that antibodies in previously uninfected ...

    It happens very rarely, but most teens and young adults who do experience heart inflammation (myocarditis) after a COVID-19 shot have mild symptoms and recover quickly, new research shows.

    “Overwhelmingly, data continue to indicate that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccinat...

    In nearly two-thirds of U.S. states, cancer patients weren't put at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines in the initial phase of vaccination, a new study finds.

    Many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as the disease or related treatments leaves them with weakened immune systems.

    Perhaps many cancer patients were skipped over for COVID shots because vaccinat...

    If you're a patient with a weakened immune system, roll up your sleeves to stay safe over the holidays and winter months.

    "Immunocompromised patients absolutely should get a flu shot as well as an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose," said Dr. Marwa Kaisey, a neuroimmunologist and assistant professor of neurology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    "Otherwise, they are more likely to have...

    Lab studies show that the mutations found in COVID-19's Delta variant make the virus more resistant to existing vaccines, a potentially ominous development as the new Omicron variant starts to wend its way around the world.

    Full vaccination with the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines still produces enough antibodies to neutralize Delta, British researchers found.

    But the Delta variant p...

    Children and teenagers vaccinated against the mumps virus have accounted for one-third of infections in recent years, a new U.S. government study finds.

    The reasons are unclear, and experts stressed that routine childhood vaccination remains the best weapon against mumps -- a contagious infection that is usually mild, but can cause serious complications.

    After the mumps vaccine was ...

    The first wave of girls to receive the HPV vaccine are much less likely to contract or die from cervical cancer than women just a few years older, a new study reports.

    Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), for which a vaccine has been available since 2006.

    Cervical cancer deaths and cases have fallen dramatically among 14- to 24-year-old women...

    Pfizer Inc. is expected to seek approval this week for emergency use of its booster shots among American teens ages 16-17.

    Sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could give the green light in about a week, which would make the Pfizer booster shot the first one available for people younger than 18.

    When asked about...

    Women getting vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) now need two or three shots, but an African clinical trial suggests a single dose is just as effective.

    The finding could speed up the immunization process in developing countries with high levels of HPV-related cancers and protect many more women more quickly.

    "These findings are a gamechanger that may s...

    Protection can gradually fade after a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech, which suggests that a booster shot might be necessary, researchers report.

    They analyzed data from more than 80,000 adults in Israel, average age 44, who had no previous evidence of infection and who had received a PCR test at least three weeks after their second shot of the two-dose Pfizer vacc...

    Republican lawmakers in several states are pushing vaccine mandate exemptions for workers who have so-called natural immunity due to a previous COVID-19 infection.

    That's despite evidence that vaccination can reduce the risk of COVID-19 even for those with a history of infection, and the fact that there's no easy way to assess the protection provided by prior infection, CBS News ...

    People will probably need regular booster shots for COVID-19 over the next few years to keep their immune systems on guard against a potentially deadly infection, an infectious disease expert says.

    COVID mutations and high transmission rates in some parts of the country mean that even the vaccinated remain at risk for a breakthrough infection, said Dr. Jonathan Abraham, assistant professo...

    Federal health officials are imploring Americans to get vaccinated as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations start to climb just ahead of the holidays.

    There's been an 18% increase in the United States' seven-day average of reported coronavirus infections, and a 6% increase in the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. ...

    COVID-19 booster shots trigger much stronger and longer protection than full vaccination with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to a small study.

    It also found that the response to a booster is even greater in fully vaccinated people who have had infections.

    "Because these antibody levels are so robust, the booster could potentially give us protection for a long...

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